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T. E. Lawrence to Bruce Rogers



Dear Bruce Rogers

The first batch, (only Books I, II & III of the Odyssey, went off to Emery Walker at Christmas. The fourth book lags. It is very long, and rather dull. I hope to send books IV, V and VI to you about the end of February: but my leisure isn't my own property: so take no action depending on what I hope.

There are two (two hundred, probably, but two for the moment) questions which if we lived in the same continent I'd feel bound to ask you about :- paragraphs, and proper names.

I have put in a lot of paragraphs. Some printers like solid pages. If you do, then run them together. If you like lots of paragraphs, then split each into two or three. My writing has the quality of bar soap: wherever you cut it across, the grain is the same quality: just soap. If you give me a note, for future guidance, of how many words should be in a paragraph, then Homer shall conform, for the other books. I don’t at present even guess how big a page you aim at.

As for the spelling of proper names: I have left them half-Latinised. I mean, I write MENELAUS: Homer wrote MENELAOS. I write ALCMENE: Homer, ALKMENE. I confess that I like Homer's usage the better: but it feels odd, sometimes.

There is no need for consistency. Achilles is a household word, like Venice: and so is Troy*: but even of these, if you wish, the Greek can be exactly transliterated - only I leave you to do it. Spell everybody as you please. I am, as you know, personally indifferent to - or at least a very loose user of - people's names (beginning with my own.)


T E Shaw

*ODUSSEUS is rather a horror, isn't it? It was probably pronounced Odthisses.

Source: BR1 [32-3]
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 6 July 2006

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